Monday, August 14, 2006

"Sinigang na Baboy" (Pork in Tamarind Soup)

Tamarind fruit or “Sampalok” is a dark brown pod of the tamarind tree, a long-lived evergreen tropical tree, contains a sour fleshy pulp, which adds a fruity sourness to many dishes. It comes in green, ripe, dried, preserved, canned, liquid and powder form. It has an acidic taste with a little sweet and sour flavor. Both the pulp and young tiny leaves are edible.

“Igang”, that’s what my Little One calls “Sinigang na Baboy”, an all-time favorite dish in our home and also, among Filipinos. For this dish, we could use any kind of pork meat. Preferably with bones, to enhance more the flavor of the soup. With my kiddo, he likes it with pork belly with all the fats in it. This is my version of Sinigang na Baboy, simple…… just the way my Little One loves it!

Good for 6 servings

  • ¾ kg pork belly, cut into 2” cubes
  • 5 cups of rice wash
  • 1 large onion, quartered
  • 2 red plump tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp rock salt
  • 1 sachet (22 g) tamarind soup base mix with taro (sampalok na may gabi)
  • 3 small sized taro (gabing tagalog), peeled
  • 12 medium sized okra, remove both ends
  • 6 long pcs of string beans (sitaw), cut into 2” length
  • 3 pcs finger chilis (siling haba)
  • A bunch of swamp cabbage (kangkong), leaves and tender stalks only

Here’s how:

In a casserole, combine the first-two ingredients. Cover. When it’s about to boil, remove scum as it arises. Put the next-five ingredients. Mix. Cover. Bring to boil. Lower fire to low, let it simmer for 30 minutes.

Increase fire to high, mash the whole tomatoes. Add okra, string beans and finger chilis. Cook for 4 minutes. Place swamp cabbage. Cook for another minute or two.

Serve hot.

  • Any sinigang dish, be it red or white meat, fish, is best with fish sauce (patis), as your dip.
  • You can use pork spareribs rather than pork belly, for less fat. Just add another 20 minutes for cooking the meat.

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